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Altitude Pole

The dark desires of pole dancers...

4 minutes
19 September 2017

In day to day life, you can be sure that pole dancers are highly respected in whichever line of work they choose. If their attendance at studios is anything to go by, they are responsible, dedicated, they show up on time and they give themselves over entirely to their goals. However, it would appear that many pole dancers have an inherent desire to misbehave and actually detest authority – either openly or secretly. They want to break the rules and they want to demonstrate their own sense of control over a world which wants to control them. Some pole dancers might find that simply training in 7 inch heels or doing a twerk, exotic pole or even attending a lap dance workshop is enough to satisfy this need to misbehave, however, many like to take it a step further. There is a sub-category of pole dancers who have a total and complete willingness to take on stage characters who are either really, really bad at their jobs or even criminally inclined, indicating this hatred of ‘the rules’ and authority in general.

When I first started pole, I was working in the field of mental health and intellectual disability as a support person or in-home carer. I had Bachelor of Arts degree and I was a reliable, hardworking person who could always be counted on to do my work to the best of my ability. So what was it that drove me to take on the role of a naughty waitress in my Pole Stars 2016 performance? I think it was because I was so tired of being so dependable and so predictable – what would it be like to mess things up just for once? How would it feel to do the wrong thing, regardless of what my boss might say? And that is how I found myself playing the role of a diner waitress who salt and peppered herself with glitter to a Justin Timberlake song. I've also been a stripping clown and a Cinderella whose profession of choice ended up being a hoe on the floor – hardly a dedicated commitment to cleaning there!

In Kristy Sellars’ 2013 winning Miss Pole Dance Victoria routine, Kristy embodies a very cheeky and somewhat irresponsible flight attendant. Rather than tend to her passengers, serving food and drinks, she strips off her uniform and proceeds to dance around the cabin until emergency strikes and the lights go out – leaving only Kristy’s light up bra and underpants to guide the passengers to safety! This performance was clearly a crowd pleaser, perhaps because this disrespect for authority acts as some kind of thread which ties us all together.

There is something inherently fun about playing out those devilish desires, the ones deep inside of us that might stay hidden, if they weren't able to come out with the help of a pole, a stage and a willing audience. We want to shake off our everyday commitments and responsibilities and see what it feels like to be reckless and irresponsible and to kind of say a big old F*ck You to the boundaries we must live in on the daily, whether at work or at home.

Some of us take this relatively harmless desire to misbehave in the workplace or at home a step further. It’s like a slippery slope of naughtiness. Take Michelle Peryman, for example, known in the pole world as Michelle Muscles. Here, we can infer that the use of a stage name certainly indicates Michelle's desire to keep her real hatred of authority a secret – she cannot openly act out these socially unacceptable behaviors whilst using her own name as that would be a dead giveaway. In her real life, Michelle has studied law, worked as a research analyst and is currently the manager of Altitude Pole and Fitness. Such occupations require her extreme honestly, responsibility and dedication to her work.

However, in Michelle’s epic Pole Legends performance in 2015, she took on the role of a violent bank robber who ended up dead. What could possess such a fine woman as Michelle to want to play out some kind of sick fantasy in which she robs a bank teller with a gun? Of course, it’s obvious. Michelle’s deeply hidden hatred of the law and authority have to be released somehow. Her university education in law demands of her a very strict adherence to the law but her underlying desire to act as a criminal cannot be contained completely. Luckily for Michelle, and the rest of society, pole dancing enables her to role play this safely, without true consequence.

Eventually, we may find that the lines between our reality and our on-stage personas become blurred and this is where danger may occur. The pole dancer might find herself acting out her on-stage desires in real life situations. You can imagine the chaos if Kristy began to serve food and drinks in the middle of her day job! There could be all sorts of spills and mishaps as she pours bourbon and cokes in a pole dancing class, let alone the anger she might face from her students if she runs out of ice. I have experienced this blurring myself, as after my Cinderella-come-hoe-on-the-floor performance, I actually became a cleaner – of the pole studio of course! I’m now finding it very hard to understand if I am a pole dancer who wants to be a cleaner who doesn’t want to be a cleaner, or if indeed I am a cleaner who wants to be a pole dancer. You can be sure though, that when I’m cleaning those floors, I’ve got the doors locked behind me, because you never know which side of me might come out to play xxxxx

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